These next two recipes, Honey Pecan Cookies & Apricot Chews (which I will give to you in Part IV), were graciously donated by Bill & Sylvia Varney, owners of the Fredericksburg Herb Farm in Fredericksburg, TX. This herb farm and restaurant is simply beautiful - an oasis under the hot Texas sun.
The Varneys say, "For healthy hair and skin, what goes in the body comes before what goes on it. The skin, like every other part of the body, receives its nourishment from the bloodstream. Overload your body with caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, refined sugar, saturated fat, emotional stress, and guess what? Poor color, circles under the eyes, blemished skin, and a never-ending bad hair day. Take a nibble, boost your body and your spirits with a cookie.
"Surprised? ask the Varneys, "Our cookie recipes are different! They are dense in nutrients, without the abundance of fat and refined sweeteners found in ordinary cookies. They're rich in B and E vitamins to nourish your nerves and put a spark in your eyes; rich in calcium to strengthen your bones; rich in iron for your blood; rich in fiber to clean out your insides; and rich in potassium for your heart, too. Best of all, you'll find that in the pursuit of health, vigor, and beauty, your taste buds never had it so good!"
RECIPE: Honey Pecan Cookies
Full of vitality-boosting minerals and vitamins B and E, that help keep you calm, cool, collected, and beautiful, these lemon verbena-scented cookies perk up those afternoon slumps. Nibble one and resist empty-calorie temptations.
1 cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons bran
2 tablespoons organic powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 organic egg
1 4" sprig lemon verbena, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons minced fresh lemon balm leaves, or 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup organic fresh buttermilk or reconstitute from a dried buttermilk mix
1/2 cup pecans, raw or toasted (your choice) and finely chopped
Raw or toasted (your choice), chopped pecans for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
2. Stir together all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In food processor, beat the butter and honey together, then add egg, lemon verbena, lemon juice, and buttermilk and process until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix briefly until incorporated. Pulse in chopped pecans.
4. Drop batter by heaping spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Garnish with pecans. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Check cookies frequently, they do burn easily. Remove to wire rack to cool.
Enjoy one for a sweet breakfast or anytime for a quick, energizing, skin-healthy snack.
Yield: Approximately 1 dozen large cookies, 200 calories each
NOTE: The above has been adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.